There are steps you can take to significantly reduce your global warming emissions on the road. In North America, about 25 percent of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, which area a primary contributor to global warming, comes from cars and trucks.
How big is your "carbon footprint", which reflects the CO2 emissions associated with your lifestyle? According to recent government estimates, the average annual carbon footprint for a two-person household is about 22 tonnes (42,000 pounds). Since that amount will vary depending on where you live and your particular lifestyle, you can get a personalized estimate by using an online carbon footprint calculator.
Large-scale transportation solutions are needed to drastically curb emissions. These solutions include higher government-mandated mileage standards, better mass transit, use of alternative fuels, and adopting technologically advanced vehicles. Individuals can have a significant impact by driving higher mileage cars, taking public transit/transportation, and arrange their travel to conserve fuel.
Here are some tips for increasing fuel economy and reducing CO2 emissions to help slow global warming trends. For each action below, we've indicated the amount of CO2 and money that you can save over the course of a year.
1. Drive a fuel-efficient car
About 8,000 pounds
Doubling a car's mileage will reduce CO2 emissions by half. Saving 15 mpg has an impact of 2 tonnes (8,000 lbs) per 18,000 km driven.
2. Reduce driving speed and drive evenly
About 8,000 pounds
Much energy is used in speeding up, and lost when slowing down. Aerodynamic resistance is much higher at greater speeds, reducing gas mileage. Hard acceleration & braking can also waste fuel and lower your mileage by 33 percent on the highway and 5 percent around town. Consumer Reports showed a compact family sedan or a large sport-utility vehicle improved fuel economy by 15 percent when driving 105 km/h vs. 120 km/h on the highway (worth annual CO2 savings of about 1,500 pounds).
3. Tune up and maintain your car
Up to 580 pounds
Up to $111
A properly tuned engine using the recommended grade of motor oil, can improve mileage and cut CO2 emissions and i by up to 6 percent (Savings are based on driving 18,000 kms per year at 20 mpg).
4. Carpool or telecommute to work
About 400 pounds
Based on an average annual commute of 5,000 kms to & from work every year. Saving 1 day per year saves about 400 pounds of CO2 per year. More people carpooling together increases the savigs
5. Combine errands or ride your bike instead of driving
About 340 pounds
Based on an average annual drives of 3,000 kms shopping every year. Saving 15 km a week of driving saves about 340 pounds of CO2 per year (based on a car getting 30 mpg)
6. Pump up your tires
Tires under-inflated by 2 pounds per square inch could increase fuel consumption by about 1 percent. The average car can save 3.3 percent. Check your owner's manual